Cockroaches and Salvation
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 3:22-24 (NIV UK)
I know the Bible tells us that everything God created was good. But sometimes I wonder why it says that about cockroaches. Most of us think they are disgusting and want to get rid of them.
The trouble is, our world is literally infested with them. There are over 4,000 species, thriving in climates all over the world, and they seem almost indestructible. They can live for weeks without food and, if they have to, they can survive on postage-stamp glue! They can withstand extreme heat and cold, and recover after 30 minutes underwater. No wonder it is hard to get rid of cockroaches.
They remind me of another invasive critter that is just as hard to get rid of. This is an idea—that infests not our kitchens and bathrooms—but our ideas of what we need to do to be saved.
Many see Christianity as a transaction. They believe Jesus was sacrificed, opening up the way to salvation. If we repent, believe the gospel, and then do enough good works, God will grant us eternal life. However, if we fail to live up to our side of the deal, we will die and spend eternity in a place of torment, separated forever from God’s love.
The problem is we can never seem to get ahead. For every step forward, we take two steps back. The harder we work to fulfil our part of the bargain, the more hopeless it all seems. Salvation based on works is a formula for guilt, fear, and a constant sense of failure. But getting rid of that idea is like—well, it’s like trying to get rid of cockroaches. The idea of conditional salvation, based on our works, continues to survive.
But you don’t have to live with it. Salvation is God’s free gift. It’s a rather unequal, one-sided transaction. Your salvation is paid for and is maintained by Jesus Christ. End of story!
Holy Father, thank you for your freedom given to us. Not freedom to sin, but freedom to live free of sin, free to live your way; free indeed! In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.